iOS 4.1 - Fewer bars in more places?

Is the just released iOS 4.1 beta reporting fewer bars in more places, just like Apple said their next iOS update would? That's what we're hearing... but not (just?) on iPhone 4 -- iPhone 3GS as well.

iPhone 4 has better reception in better signal areas, worse reception in worse signal areas when "death gripped", and we're hearing that's holding true under iOS 4.1, but again the signal is being reported "better". You see fewer bars in low signal areas, so you have a better idea what will happen if touching it in the lower left hand corner -- it might drop off completely.

But iPhone 3GS? Well on iOS 4 had 5 bars in location x. Same location on iOS 4.1 it's reporting 4 bars when on the table, 3 bars when picked up, and 2 bars when "death gripped".

Here's a vastly over simplified analogy: imagine iOS 4 was a school that gave anyone (any iPhone) who scored over 20% an A (5 bars). iOS 4.1 would be a much stricter school where you had to get an 80% for that A (5 bars.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.